This post may contain affiliate links (including amazon.com because we participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program). Full disclosure is here.
You might be wondering if there’s a magic formula to follow for creating an amazing blog post layout that makes YOU stand out? Well, I’ve got something special for you today with my tried-and-tested (free) blog post template printable, which will hit the sweet spot for your readers every time.
So, you’ve bought your domain and you’re working hard to attract your tribe. But did you know that most visitors stay on a website for less than 10 seconds? This means that you need to convince them to carry on reading with the first 28 words of your blog post! If you do, they are more likely to read or at least scan through the full blog post. If you don’t, it’s bye-bye visitor.
Are you still reading this? Great. I’ve convinced you to carry on. Let’s dive in…
Quality over quantity
You won’t win this if you’re not writing quality content that your readers want to read. The golden rule is to write valuable content that meets your readers’ needs. Write for them, not to them. Let’s look at blog posts in general before moving on to the layout.
How long should blog posts be?
If you’re new to blogging, aim for longer blog posts that are between 1 000 and 2 000 words each. This post is just over 1 500 words, which is perfect. As you build a following, you can write shorter posts of around 500 words to mix it up a bit.
Longer posts will make readers consider you to be more of an expert in the field and Google is more likely to send more visitors to your site. These long posts are called pillar posts. They are good to have.
Use internal links in your blog posts
An internal link is a link within your website and it’s very easy to add links in WordPress. It is when, for example, you have a link in a blog post to another blog post on your website. This helps readers click through to find other valuable related information on your website, and internal links help Google to determine how your website is set out. These are all good things for blogs!
Aim to have at least one internal link in each post. If you use my awesome system to come up with blog post ideas then each blog post should flow into the next, much like the chapters of a book.
See how I created an internal link in the paragraph above to another one of my relevant blog posts? Now Google knows that these posts are related, and you know where you can go on this site to get more information about writing blog posts.
Now for the blog post layout – the free printable at the end will give you a visual layout of my blog post template and the plugins and resources I use for each section. Don’t miss this one ?
The ultimate blog post template
There are several things to include in your blog article template. You can adapt your template to suit your topic and audience.
Here’s exactly how to write a blog post, whether it’s your first or hundredth, with everything you should have in your blog articles:
1. Blog post heading / title
This is the first thing your reader will see, so make it amazing. Use your blog post keywords in your heading and tweak the heading at the end, after you’ve written your blog post.
I often start a post with one idea in mind and then it transforms itself as I write it. (This post started off being about the different types of blog posts you get, but turned into one about the ultimate blog post template.)
This means I need to go back at the end and work on the post’s heading, to make it more relevant to the content and catchy for my readers. In fact, I’ve written this up to this point and I haven’t even created my blog post heading yet – I will probably do it when I create the graphic. Which leads me to…
2. Blog post images
Blog pictures are extremely important. If you don’t know where to find them, check out these 60+ resources for blog post images.
Choose a picture that’s warm, eye-catching, and shows the reader what you will be talking about in your post. Look at what other bloggers are doing and try to decide what draws you to their graphics – they apply the same principles to your own. Remember to always put your personal touch and creativity into this, blindly copying others won’t get you far or make you stand out.
Create a standard blog image template and use it to create every blog post image you make. This will save you a lot of time. Be sure to optimize every image before uploading it to your blog.
You want people to see your images and instantly recognize them as belonging to your blog. If you scroll through my blog posts, you will see a consistent theme and layout to them all (at least since I moved away from lifestyle blogging and realized how important and much easier it is to focus on one niche).
This is part of branding your business.
Here’s your catchy paragraph to get your reader’s interest with 28 words or less.
I make my introduction bold to stand out, and I tell the reader what they will get from my blog post if they take the time to read it. They can decide from the first paragraph if the article will give them what they are looking for or not.
I make sure I use my keywords in the introduction, too.
4. General opening
In the general opening you can talk to the reader as you would talk to your friend. This is usually where I explain why I am inspired to write the blog post and again emphasize how it will help. I often give stats to support my claims or let the reader know what’s going on in the industry on this topic.
The general opening is all about building relationships. You’re not there to shake their hand and introduce yourself, but this is your chance to start a long-term friendship online. Talk a little about yourself to introduce yourself to new readers and build a stronger relationship with those who already know you online.
By doing all this, you will be building a relationship with readers and building your authority on the topic. For example, if I share with you that 30 000 websites are attacked daily and how often I hear of other bloggers getting locked out of their own sites each week, then you’re more likely to read my post on how to protect your blog by taking the same security steps I did.
5. Table of contents
A table of contents comes in very handy for:
- Readers who don’t have much time to read: They can jump straight to the information they need
- Someone is still wondering whether your blog post is worth reading: They can look at the table of contents to decide
- Someone who’s returning to your blog post: They can go to the section they want to refer back to
All the details about the plugin I use for my table of contents and the other sections of my blog post layout are given in detail in the free printable at the end of this post – so keep an eye out for it.
6. Steps or content broken down under headings
The sixth part of your blog post is about giving readers actionable steps (step 1, step 2, etc.) or the info they are looking for broken down into manageable chunks, with headings. Take each concept or step and create a heading for it, then write the content that goes with that heading.
Each major heading should be listed in your table of contents, for easy navigation. You will see that I have the main headings in my table of contents at the beginning, but not the 9 sections for blog post templates as it will become too long – I don’t want a table of contents long enough for an encyclopedia!
Remember to add internal links to other blog posts on your website (I’m on about 5 internal links so far).
7. Now for email marketing
It’s time to ask readers to sign up for your newsletter. If you don’t have a newsletter yet, it’s time to get one. Not building an email list from the start is the number one regret of most online business owners and bloggers.
Tell the reader what value they will get by signing up and how often you will contact them. Reassure them that you won’t spam them (and don’t ever do that).
8. Conclusion and signature
It’s always polite to thank your guests and say goodbye, so have a little conclusion at the end of each blog post. You could:
- Sum up what your blog post was about
- Ask them to leave a comment at the end of the post
- Wish them well and let them know how much you appreciate them
- Invite them to come back to your blog for more great reads
Mix and match the above to something that fits your style.
Sign off with your name or a pretty blog signature, and even a short bio of who you are or what your blog is about.
9. Ask readers to share your blog post
Now that they’ve read this far, you can be pretty sure they love what you’ve written. Ask your readers to share your content and make it easy for them – create a great Pinterest image, have social share buttons, write a good tweet that they can quickly retweet.
Help them to help you spread the word about your blog.
And there you have it, folks. A 1 700-word power pillar post on a great blog post template to follow. Oh, you’re keen to see the visual layout and get my WordPress plugins and some free stock photography sites? Then there’s one more special heading to go…
Get my free printable of the ultimate blog post template layout
Click on the image below to get an instant download of my printable for the blog post template layout: